Previewing Patch 5.2

As I write this, and at the time you read it, the 5.2 patch for World of Warcraft is likely only days, if not hours, away. The first raid tier patch of this expansion cycle will bring a lot of great content, in and out of the raiding experience. Blizzard recently released the patch trailer, and that has stoked up a lot of the players for the coming content. Let’s take a look at some of the highlight features of the new patch.

Doing it Daily
As the story of our arrival and adventures on the Isle of Pandaria continue, our trip to the new areas in 5.2 will be led by those who had key roles in the events of 5.1. Jaina Proudmoore and the Kirin’tor lead the Alliance to the Isle of Thunder, while Lorthe’mar Theron leads the Horde forces to the Isle. There the two sides will clash over the different areas of the island, and it’s highly sought after resources. Seen by many players as the Isle of Quel’Danas 2.0, the players on both sides will work to unlock access to specific areas that will be very critical in the efforts to defeating the Thunder King. With both PvE and PvP options for the quests, and a big load of story and progression of the lore behind our time on Pandaria, these will be quests that anyone interested in the story of WoW will definitely want to do at least once.

The biggest part of the patch, undeniably, is the Throne of Thunder Raid. Part Troll, part Mogu, and highly reminiscent of the Ulduar raid from Wrath of the Lich King, the Throne of Thunder will have 12 bosses on LFR and Normal modes, with a 13th bonus boss on Heroic. The first section of the raid, titled Last Stand of the Zandalari, is the all Troll side of the raid. It will include Jin’rokh the Breaker, Horridon, and the Council of Elders, which will see the return of Gara’jal the Spiritbinder from Mogu’shan Vaults. The name of the section would lead one to beleive that once we defeat the Zandalari here, they will be done. However, quest developer Dave Kosak was recently interviewed by Anne Stickney. In that interview, he clarified that what we are facing is only a fraction of the Zandalari army. He did indicate that we would likely see Zandalar someday, and there is still the Prophet Zul character that we saw back in the patch 4.1 trailer to face.

The next section is Forgotten Depths, where some of the most twisted creations made by the Mogu, and their biggest accidents, lay dormant. First up we have Tortos, a massive dragon turtle that was warped by the dark energies of the citadel above. An amalgamation of flesh and stone, Tortos will no doubt prove a challenge for many. Megaera is the second boss of this section, which is a cloud serpent that was twisted by dark experiments that Lei Shen commanded, and became a multi headed hydra. Lastly, we have Ji-Kun, a monstrous scavenger bird that has killed off every competitor to the spoils of victory, in the form of the decayed flesh that lay under the Thunder King’s home.

Next section we have the Halls of Flesh-Shaping, which is where many of the most disturbing experiements were done. First up we have Durumu the Forgotten, an aberration that seems to contain just eyes. Many, many eyes. Durumu was created from a wish by Lei Shen that he be able to detect betrayal in the hearts of his followers. Primordius is the second boss of this section, and he is basically a Saurok who just never stopped growing in the time since Lei Shen’s first death. Much like all Saurok, he is a creation of the Mogu flesh-shapers, but when forgotten in the pools of whatever substance made them, he became monstrous. Last of this section we have a truly disturbing creation called the Dark Aminus. This construct was made to defend Lei Shen’s citadel without fear, and for tens of thousands of years it has done that very thing. Now we intrude, and are it’s next targets.

The last section of the Throne of Thunder raid is the Pinnacle of Storms. This is where we face 3-4 bosses, depending on the difficulty. First up is Iron Qon, a Mogu commander with Quilen champions that fights with an unrelenting resolve. Next up we have the Twin Consorts, female constructs made out of stone and empowered to serve and protect Lei Shen. Notably the only two female Mogu known to exist. This is likely to be a very interesting fight, and one worthy of some incredible videos. Next up we have the Thunder King himself, Lei Shen. Newly risen by the Zandalari, Lei Shen is hell bent on bringing his people back into place as rulers of all of Pandaria. The developers have been clear that Lei Shen is designed to be the toughest fight in the raid. If you are on Heroic, once Lei Shen is down you will get a chance at the Titan watcher Ra’den, who Lei Shen defeated ages ago, and whose power the Thunder King used to create the first Mogu empire.

Sharing Rares
There are a few really notable rare mob changes coming in 5.2, and these changes have led to some very heated discussion in the community. First, a big change to world boss rares like Sha of Anger, Galleon, and the new ones for 5.2: Nalak, The Storm Lord on the Isle of Thunder, and Oondasta on the Isle of Giants. These boss rares will see a faction tap feature brought in, where anyone on the same faction will get tapped to the mob, and have a chance at loot. As someone in a guild with less 90s than I have fingers on a single hand, I am looking forward to this. No longer will I need to just hang around and wait, whispering group after group for an invite if they have the room. With Nalak having a chance to drop a mount, and Oondasta just being a freaking awesome looking boss, this change will a welcome one for me, and I suspect many others.

The other big change regarding rares (and named quest mobs that are flagged with the ! by their portrait) is one that was actually only announced a few days ago. When you are fighting a rare mob in the world and someone else comes to help, you will both get a chance at loot and the mobs health will go up a corresponding amount for now having two attackers. In addition, this change is bi-factional, so it is not limited to only your side. This will only apply to the new rares coming in 5.2, but is another one of those welcome changes for players who play on a crowded server, and who don’t want to wait around for respawns.

But There’s One More Thing…
Ok, well, there is a lot more things, but we’ve already covered some of that. There is preparing for the patch by farming up some highly desirable things, there are lots of 5.2 patch pet battles additions and changes, as well as the announced cancellation of the usual valor to justice currency conversion. No, instead I want to talk about one feature that has been requested since launch of the game actually becoming a reality, player housing. Ok, well, Blizzard has said that they don’t see Sunsong Ranch as true player housing, but with 5.2 is will become a player only phased version that is ours, straight and clear. With Farmer Yoon called to more important duties, he will be giving us the farm he inherited from his uncle, just a stones throw from the market at Halfhill. We can set our hearthstones to our farmhouse, and get work orders that will help us build up the reputations we have with various factions around Pandaria. This may be the closest and best thing we will get to player housing in the game, so make the best of it while you can!

Just The Beginning
Like I said, there is more I haven’t covered here, like the Green Fire quest line, the amazingly dino-tastic new Hunter pets on the Isle of Giants, more mounts than you will know what to do with, 5.1 scenarios going cross faction, and changes to a bunch of professions, but I don’t want you to still be reading this when 5.2 has finished installing! While there is a lot coming in the 5.2 patch, there is even more coming in future content patches, both raid included and raid free, so we look forward to some of the most exciting content, and stories, this side of the Twisting Nether. What part of 5.2 are you most excited about? Did we miss your #1 feature? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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